Symptoms : Sinus & Nasal Congestion
Feeling stuffy? Maybe youâve been blowing your nose all day and are almost running out of tissues, and yet, you feel worse. You canât be productive because your head feels heavy and youâre finding it difficult to breathe. Nasal congestion can be relieved with nasal decongestants like Sinex SEVERE Ultra Fine Mist nasal spray.
Keep reading to learn more about nasal congestion.
What is Nasal Congestion?
If you have the common cold or flu, the uncomfortable stuffed-up feeling you are experiencing is called nasal congestion, also known as a stuffy nose. When youâre all stuffed up, the simple act of breathing can be difficult. On top of that, you might feel tired and just plain dreary.
But what is nasal congestion, exactly? Nasal congestion is often called ârhinitisâ by healthcare providers. âRhinoâ is a Greek prefix meaning the nose, and ââitisâ refers to inflammation. Therefore, rhinitis is the inflammation of the linings of the nasal cavity.
Symptoms of Nasal Congestion
When your nose feels stuffy, you may find it hard to breathe. The inflammation leads to swollen nasal passages that constrict air flow, making it harder to breathe through your nose. The inflammation and swelling also makes it harder to get mucus out of your nose, so you may also have a build-up of mucus, as well. It causes you to feel stuffed up, which is why itâs also referred to as a stuffy nose.
What Causes Nasal Congestion?
Nasal congestion causes include:
Get Your Antibiotics Fast
No one likes being sick, and having a sinus infection can be very uncomfortable. Getting antibiotics as fast as possible is crucial to healing, and is made possible with PlushCare. Our online doctors can diagnose your sinus infection, write a prescription, and send it to your local pharmacy in 15 minutes. PlushCare can help you effectively, quickly, and easily treat your sinus infection.
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, is a common problem that causes your sinuses to swell up. The sinuses become inflamed and cause symptoms that can be similar to the common cold. In fact, many people can contract a sinus infection after having a cold or the flu.
Around 31 million Americans are affected by sinusitis, spending more than $1 billion each year on medications to treat it. However, there are several home remedies for sinus infections that you can try that are cheap and effective.
Sinus infections are usually caused by a bacterial infection, but they can also be caused by viruses or fungi. These infections can either be acute or chronic. Acute infections usually go away in two or three weeks, but chronic sinusitis can last for up to 12 weeks or longer.
Your sinus cavities have a layer of mucus that helps to trap substances like dust and germs. When the lining becomes inflamed from a viral infection, like sinusitis or a cold, it swells. This swelling forces mucus to get stuck in the sinuses, which prevents normal drainage. When this happens, bacteria and fungi can start to grow in the blocked-up fluid, causing a sinus infection.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain, pressure, and tenderness around the eyes, forehead, and cheeks
There are several home remedies and treatments that you can try for sinus infections.
There are also some over-the-counter medications that you can try to help relieve your symptoms.
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A Few Garlic Cloves Would Do Wonder To Treat Head Congestion
Garlic cloves are natural home remedies for head congestion to treat acute head congestion, nasal congestion, sinus and bronchitis. The small garlic clove has loads of antiviral and antibiotic properties in it, which makes it a suitable cure for opening up the congested chest and do many more such favors to your body. The best part about this and some other home remedies for head congestion is the immunity-enhancing ability. Garlic cloves and many other solutions to head congestion do not confine their action to just treating head congestion, but they do a lot more for your body by raising the disease-fighting ability. With this, you can easily prevent so many uncomfortable infections and day to day health problems.
To garlic cloves as home remedies for head congestion, you have to take garlic cloves in some form orally. You can eat 3- 4 garlic cloves daily in the morning, or can have it after making a mixture of honey and crushed garlic as the taste and smell of garlic cloves is not as appealing as its health benefits are. Adding crushed or chopped garlic in your soup bowl or veggies is a great idea to get the benefits without bearing the bad taste of raw garlic. Garlic supplements are also available in the market, but for that home remedies for a head, congestion recommends you take doctors advice first.
What Causes Chronic Sinus Infection
Multiple factors acting together usually contribute to chronic sinusitis.
People with allergies are more prone to develop chronic sinusitis. About one in five people with chronic sinusitis also have asthma. This is because the linings of your nose and sinuses are in continuation with the linings of your lungs. These people are also likely to have nasal polyps .
A bacterial or viral infection can also trigger the condition. The infection is often low grade. The bacteria confine themselves in stubborn biofilms, making it difficult for your immune system or antibiotics to find and attack them.
An overlap of additional factors such as smoking, environmental pollutants, and deviated septum, further complicate the picture of chronic sinusitis.
It would be more appropriate to say that if youre already prone to allergies and nasal polyps, it becomes easier for harmful bugs, especially fungi to penetrate your sinuses. Likewise, a weak immune system makes you more susceptible to catch bacterial, viral, or fungal sinus infection.
A sinus that is inflamed and swollen can no longer sweep away the excess mucus and harmful agents due to the blockage of tiny hairs that facilitate this function.
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Hot Herbal Tea Infusion For Sniffles/stuffy Nose
A tea infusion is a little different than making a cup of regular tea. Basically, you let the herbs steep in the water for one to several hours in order to get the most out of the medicinal herbs. You can find out more about herbal water infusions in this article of my How to Start Using Herbs Series.
This is not a great tasting tea, I have to tell you but if you are looking for results and calming the inflammation from that cruddy, stuffy nose, then you should give this a try!
The herbs in this tea help strengthen the respiratory system, calm inflammation of the sinuses, and break up mucus. It’s a safe herbal blend too—even children can drink it up! You might want to sweeten it first, though.
Here is where you can find the herbal recipe for Stuffy Nose Tea, and here is an article with more information about how to make herbal tea infusions too.
This is Tea for the Sniffles—A great blend to help reduce sinus inflammation and relieve stuffy nose.
How Can I Prevent Sinusitis
Some of the home remedies used to treat sinus infections symptoms may help prevent sinusitis. These include rinsing your nose out with salt water and using medications that your provider might suggest, such as allergy medications or steroid nasal sprays.
You should avoid things you are allergic to, like dust, pollen or smoke, and try to avoid sick people. Wash your hands to reduce your chance of getting a cold or flu.
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Sinus Massage Techniques That Reduce Congestion
The paranasal sinuses are small, air-filled spaces in your skull. They help filter and moisten the air you breathe and lighten the weight of the skull. The paranasal sinuses also help produce the sound of your voice and provide support for your face and eyes.
Whenever youre sick, the sinuses become obstructed with mucus. This blockage causes congestion and can lead to intense pressure and headaches. While there are nasal sprays and medications to treat symptoms, some simple massage techniques at home can provide you with relief.
What Can I Do
While you wait for your infection to run its course, you can take steps at home to feel better.
Look into nasal sprays. Store-bought saline nasal spray loosens up mucus, temporarily clearing it from your nasal passages. A steroid nasal spray like fluticasone may help tame inflammation, especially if you have underlying allergies. Unsure about using a steroid? Follow package directions and go to your HCP with questions.
Be wary of decongestant nasal sprays, like oxymetazoline . Using them for longer than three days could cause rebound symptoms persistent stuffiness eased only by the spray itself. Dryness and addiction are also possibilities.
Embrace sinus rinses like the neti pot. Many sinus infection veterans swear by nasal irrigation systems, such as plastic squeeze bottles or teakettle-shaped neti pots. These devices are filled with a sterile saline solution and used to flush snot from your sinuses.
Neti pots and their ilk are widely available and typically safe, as long as you handle them properly. Dont use water directly from your tap. Instead use distilled water, a sterile saline solution or water that has been boiled and then cooled.
Try over-the-counter medicines. Experts recommend analgesics including acetaminophen , ibuprofen and aspirin to ease pain, as well as decongestants like pseudoephedrine to alleviate the pressure of congestion.
Finally, you may want to avoid flying or scuba diving, since either can aggravate sinus pain.
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How To Treat A Sinus Infection At Home
You can effectively treat sinus infections at home with over-the-counter medicines or one or more home remedies.
Dethlefs recommends, Drink plenty of water, use Vicks vapor rub on chest and bottoms of feet, rest and sleep and humidifier. One thing I like to do when my family is sick is boil water on the stove and melt Vicks vapor rub in it. Then pour solution in ice cube trays and freeze. Add 1-2 ice cubs to bottom of shower.
OTC medicines that may improve symptoms of a sinus infection include:
- Nasal decongestant sprays help reduce swelling in the nasal passages to promote drainage flow from the sinuses. This sinus infection treatment should only be used for three to four days to reduce the risk of rebound congestion.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays help reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages without causing rebound congestion.
- Antihistamines remain particularly helpful for those whose nasal passages become inflamed and swollen due to seasonal allergies.
- Nasal saline washes and rinses help clear mucus from the nasal passages to promote easier breathing.
Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if OTC medicines fail to relieve your symptoms within seven to 10 days. Antibiotics are usually only prescribed as a last-resort treatment for sinus infections due to the risk of overuse, which may lead to other difficult-to-treat infections.
Home remedies for sinus infection include:
Can You Have A Cough After A Sinus Infection
You may notice that even after the core symptoms are gone, you still have a cough after a sinus infection clears up. Thats most likely because there is still lingering inflammation in your sinuses causing post-nasal drip the backed-up drainage that runs down the back of your throat, often prompting a natural coughing reflex to clear your airway.
When sinuses are just doing their everyday job, they produce mucus to help protect your system from dust, allergens, and pollutants but that mucus has to drain to keep irritants out. Sinus infections occur when that drainage gets blocked, causing mucus to back up and become more susceptible to bacteria or viruses.
Discover why you may have a cough after a sinus infection and learn what remedies are available.
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Stay Away From Pollen
Pollen allergies like hay fever causes nasal congestion. To get relief we suggest you minimize your contact time with the allergens. A good way to do this is to take your shoes off before you enter your home. Change your clothes and brush your hair or shower. Wash your face. Pollen can trigger allergies around your eyes and its good to clean that out. Regularly wash your sheets and pillow cases. Another tip is to keep your windows closed. You want to keep the pollen out.
Here Is A Recipe For Making Your Own Vapor Rub:
1 cup of Almond Oil
Approximately 200 total drops of Essential Oil Blend—
You can adjust up or down, depending on how strong you want your vapor rub. I personally am a bit heavy handed with the oils I use to clear sinuses. If, once you get the essential oils added to the melted oils, the mixture doesn’t smell strong enough for you, just add a bit more.
Essential oils are very powerful, so a little goes a long way.
Essential Oils—see my blend below OR you can purchase great blends that are meant for clearing your sinuses and helping with respiration. That link is to Rocky Mountain oils–just search “Breathe Ease” and it will pop up.
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Home Remedies For Sinus Infection Treatment
Chop up a few garlic cloves and drop them into boiling water. Inhale the steam from this garlic water repeat a few times daily for a few minutes each. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial agent, the pungent smell of which will help open up your congested nose, and kill the bacteria in your nasal cavity. You can also eat two or three crushed garlic cloves daily.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
This common kitchen ingredient has several beneficial properties it also helps in making easy home remedies for sinus pressure. Make a mixture of hot water, honey, lemon juice and water, and add two or three tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar to it. You can also mix apple cider vinegar to tea and drink the liquid three times a day. It will help flush out mucus from your sinus cavities. If you feel you are coming down with a flu or cold, you can immediately consume apple cider vinegar to avoid sinus infection.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Take boiled water and add a pinch of baking soda and a teaspoon of salt to it. Or, mix a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in boiled water. Use either of these liquids as solutions for nasal irrigation. Use a bulb syringe and use it once a day it keeps the nasal cavity moist and clears out mucus.
4. Cayenne Pepper
6. Boost Your Immune System
7. Make a Super Smoothie
8. Oregano Oil
What Causes A Sinus Infection
Sinusitis or sinus infection can be caused due to the following reasons:
- When the cilia that line the sinuses do not eliminate enough mucus from these spaces, causing blockages
- Due to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections
- 3-4 drops lemon essential oil
What You Have To Do
How Often You Should Do This
Reapply every few hours for maximum benefit.
Why This Works
Essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon help reduce pressure headaches and act as natural decongestants agents. Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, while lavender oil is soothing for the mind and body . Lemon oil is an antifungal agent and also an analgesic .
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Ginger And Turmeric Tea
*Disclaimer: Turmeric can cause your blood pressure to rise. Ginger can lower blood sugar as well as blood pressure. Please ask your medical professional before using any herb for any home remedy.
Ginger is an antiviral in the sense it inhibits replication of viral germs as well as keeping the virus from infecting host cells.
Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that is packed with antioxidants as well.
Start by filling a sauce pan with approximately 2 cups of water and place on the stove-top on medium heat.Add 2 tsp of turmeric powder and 8 small thinly sliced pieces of ginger. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes allowing the spices to thoroughly infuse into the water.Pour into a mug and enjoy.
You can repeat this 3-4 times a day drinking 8oz at a time while the tea is still warm/hot.
What Prescription Drugs Cure A Cough
When cough is severe, over-the-counter medications and home remedies may not be enough to relieve symptoms, and prescriptions may be needed.
- Codeine and other narcotic medications are often prescribed as effective cough suppressants. Many times these are combined with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, or the expectorant guaifenesin.
- If cough is due to whooping cough, bacterial pneumonia, complicated bronchitis, or sinusitis it is usually treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalosporins, or azithromycin .
- For cough due to allergies, such as hay fever, inhaled nasal steroids may be prescribed.
- For postnasal drip that does not respond to OTC drugs, nasal inhalers such as ipratropium bromide can help.
- If cough is a result of asthma, prescription inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled steroids help decrease inflammation of the airways. Short-term oral steroids, which help reduce inflammation, are sometimes prescribed to relieve chronic cough.
- pantoprazole .
Your primary care provider such as a family practitioner, internal medicine specialist, or pediatrician may diagnose and treat a cough. If cough is severe an emergency medicine specialist may see you in a hospitalâs emergency department.
Many times cough symptoms will worsen at night. This may be due to postnasal drip or acid from the stomach backing up into your throat from acid reflux. There are some strategies and home remedies you can use to help ease nighttime cough:
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